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Would you recommend your undergrad school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DropkickMurphy, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. DropkickMurphy

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    As some of you may be aware, I am a mortuary science major and will be done with that degree in a year and a half. Well, I will then be transferring to a four year school to finish up my premed studies and I am in hopes that perhaps some of you might be able to provide me an honest assessment (unbiased premed's assessment) of your undergraduate schools.

    Because of my fiancee's desire to stay close to her family, I am interested in those of you who are doing undergrad work in the Midwest- specifically Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I am most interested in small and medium sized public universities, but I am willing to consider larger schools.

    So that being said, I want to know your opinions of your professors, the administration, the facilities, the area (is there stuff to do?), etc. Let's hear it- your honest opinion of your school.
     
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  3. justskipee

    justskipee Senior Member
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    University of Wisconsin - Madison

    Amazing.
     
  4. Em1

    Em1 Senior Member
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    Finals week *may* not be the best time to be asking this...
     
  5. solitude

    solitude Senior Member
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    I took a number of classes at the University of Iowa while I was in high school, and have a lot of connections to the school and town. I really like the University. It is kind of big, and isn't located in one of the states you mentioned, but the academics are good, the tuition is reasonable, even for out-of-staters, and it is a nice intellectual town. The med school is also top-notch.
     
  6. DropkickMurphy

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    Actually I think it is a good time to be asking it, since if you ask when people are at their most displeased you are likely to get things brought up that might not otherwise come up. Granted the comments are to be taken with a grain of salt.....
     
  7. Dr.D-man

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    Western Michigan University

    Good school if you want a good GPA. I work my butt off to get an A according to the sylabus but when grade time comes around lots of people get A's who are well below the 90% range.
     
  8. ahumdinger

    ahumdinger Senior Member
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    WashU in St. Louis. Get your fiancee to get a job at the University, and you can get discounted evening classes. (Employees take evening undergraduate classes for free, spouses/domestic partners can get 50% off). The classes are easy too. Are you just doing a post-bacc or going through 4 years of school? I'm not familar with mortuary science, so i don't know what your plans are at the 4 year school.
     
  9. Zoom-Zoom

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    Another vote for UW-Madison
     
  10. deathtoOWL

    deathtoOWL Junior Member

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    My vote is for Vanderbilt although it is not public it is medium sized with good science programs but it is not hypercompetitive like a lot of private colleges with its reputation. I don't know any medium or small public schools. The advising is excellent and because its Vanderbilt you have access to some to the best facilities and faculty in the country. The undergrad classes, even the premed sciences are primarily taught by actual professors and not TAs. Also Nashville is an awesome city with lots to do and is reasonably priced although the sales tax is a pain if you are not use to it.
     
  11. nosugrefneb

    nosugrefneb (benferguson)
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    Though it's probably not as well regarded as a WashU or Madison, I'd say the University of Illinois is highly, highly underrated in the sciences. It's cheap in-state, and given the number of med schools in Illinois, I think it gives people a great chance to get their foot in the door for most of them. 10% of the current first-year class at Pritzker is from UIUC, likely more make up the classes at Rush and UIC, and Loyola probably approaches that as well.

    Go Illini.

    In all fairness, there are a lot of schools above it in terms of reputation, but you can't beat it for price and good times.
     
  12. DropkickMurphy

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    Mortuary science, at least at the school I am attending as of next semester, is an associate's program but I am doing it because I am guaranteed a job with a national company once I graduate and it will be good money while I am in school. I decided to do this after being offered a scholarship from the company for whom I know work.

    I am planning on going back to finish my bachelors in biology and chemistry after I am done with this program, and that is why I am asking about the schools everyone attends.
     
  13. masterMood

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    check out studentsreview.com, big website with comments for each university from the students who go there.
     
  14. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl
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    It depends what are you looking for in a school. Do you want to have lots of opportunities to do research and other pre-med type stuff, or would you rather have fewer opportunities but a good chance of getting mostly As? Do you care if the school is ranked or not?

    University of Toledo is a decent school, there are research opportunities through the Sciences college, Pharmacy school and MUO is in the same town so you could do some stuff over there, if you wanted. It isn't as competitive as say, Case, but is cheaper and people do go on to ranked schools from UT. If you have any interest in engineering their BioE program has some deals worked out with MUO that might be worth looking into. There isn't a lot to do in Toledo, though, which is a real drag if you like to party. OTOH, what there is to do is cheap. If you like the arts&music, you can see plays, symphony performances and whatnot for <$10-20 with your student discount.

    If you want a bigger city, there is, of course, Cleveland. Most of the schools around here are private but are known to be excellent schools that provide a quality education. You specifically asked for public schools so I won't say anymore about this.

    The public school, here, is Cleveland State U. I am in the Chem. engineering dept and I can tell you it is by far the worst dept I have ever experienced. What goes on here doesn't compare to the worst stories I have heard from other students at other schools. Howeever, if you plan to stay in Chemistry and Biology, I think you stand a good chance of getting top marks simply because there isn't as much competition. CSU has several collaborative efforts with the Cleveland Clinic, Lerner Research and Case Med school. So, you would definitely be able to get some nice things for your CV. The Bio and Chem depts are extremely supportive of students who want to write for fellowship/grants for summer projects and will help you find projects and programs all over the country. They are very research focused since the new president came. They don't have a pre-med group (or I haven't heard of it) and my guess would be that there aren't a lot of school sponsored pre-med programs going on. If you desperately need to hang out with other pre-meds you may not want to consider it. The biggest drawback is that it's a 4th tier school and not known outside of Cleveland.

    Wright State is another Ohio school located in Dayton. I have heard that they tend to accept a significant number of their own undergrads for their medical school, so this might be a good option. I have heard good things from the med students, but really know nothing about the bio/chem depts.

    Bowling Green State U is just south of Toledo, Ohio and is supposed to be a good school. I really don't know. BG is your typical college town, with a huge population when school is in session and is like a ghost town when school is out. They are loads of bars for the 18+ crowd which is great if you are part of that 18-22 crowd. If not, it royally sucks. There are always bands playing and lots of dance clubs and loads of Head Shops...so you know what kind of town you'd be considering. There also seem to be a lot of Greek buildings and activities if you're into that sort of thing.

    Okay, this post is getting out of hand. If you have a particular interest in Ohio I can post more.
     
  15. autoimmunity

    autoimmunity Senior Member
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    When to UChicago. Had a good intellectual time. Most of the professors and students, although weird at times, are terrific. And Chicago itself is an awesome city. I would not recommend my alma mater though. The social interaction at the school is too bland, the grade deflation, is well, deflating for many people's career plans, and the administration sucks the big fat one on so many levels (for example: they're soliciting alumni for increased donations in an effort to improve its rankings as opposed to questioning why this giving is so low in the very first place - they're also totally in love with their ivory tower - the list goes on, believe me....).

    So while I did get a good education and still got into a great med school, I will never donate a single dime to UChicago and I sincerely hope that my children will choose a different school in the future.
     
  16. anon-y-mouse

    anon-y-mouse Senior Member
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    Really, grade deflation at UChicago?
    If I didn't get into Ivies, I would have *seriously* considered U of C, it seems like such an intellectual place... and I thought with the trimester system, taking fewer classes, that it would be easier to get A's? Comment?

    Also, I would think Rice would be an excellent place... I know a ton of people who did premed there and are at top med schools now, is it the students or the school, who knows?! Perhaps a Rice-ian can comment.
     
  17. autoimmunity

    autoimmunity Senior Member
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    If the Honors bar is set at a 3.25, I would certainly have to think that either its grade deflation, or simply a lack of grade inflation. Either way, it sucks.

    As far as the quarter system goes, yes it means you take fewer classes, but it also means you're learning by the seat of your pants. There isn't much down time and it seems as though you've got an exam every week. I'm sure others who have experienced the quarter system could probably attest to this.

    But don't get me wrong. It's not insanely difficult to succeed at UChicago. It's certainly possible.
     
  18. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    UI-UC, U. Mich, Madison are real prestigious and inexpensive.
     
  19. DropkickMurphy

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    Honestly, I don't care about "prestige" because I find the criteria used to be largely pointless and often not of much use to students.
     
  20. jebus

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    In retrospect, WashU was great. The students were smart, the faculty was engaged, the cost of living is super cheap, there are great cheap places to eat around there, and I saw Pope John Paul II there. (Yes, in January 1999. He was in his pope mobile and he raised his hands and then his driver sped off.) There are great opportunities for ECs, and the botanical gardens is one the most beautiful places I've ever been - even though it's in MO.
    I don't know about the evening classes but the regular classes were not easy! Each pre-med weed out course had 2 hour long midterms in the evenings (6:30-8:30) and they rocked my ass so many times.
    If you can take the evening classes on the cheap and get a WashU quality education it sounds like a good deal.
    You may think prestige doesn't have any real importance to students but you are wrong. Reading about it doesn't convey it. Prestige translates to connections to opportunity, high quality students, high quality faculty, & high quality facilities. The many opportunities for networking alone are worth it.
     
  21. SuzieQ3417

    SuzieQ3417 Senior Member
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    University of MO - Columbia

    Good school, good price (although they keep raising tuition). I'm not sure what classes you will be taking, but most intro lectures have 100-200 people. Once you get past that, though, upper level science classes can have anywhere between 15-60 people. I've really enjoyed all of the professors I've had. Even the ones teaching the large lectures were easily accessible beyond normal office hours.
    The facilities are average...some great, some really old. Even the old ones have been updated, though, with LCD projectors/sound systems/etc.
    In terms of difficulty of coursework..I guess I can't say how it compares since I haven't experienced another school. There is a lot of variety...some professors curve, some don't; some normalize grades (curve down), some don't. We have a campus-wide plus/minus grading system although it is not always used. It is not difficult to get involved in research if you so desire. Sometimes you have to send your resume to multiple labs, but most people seem enthusiastic to let undergrads into their lab.
    The campus as a whole is pretty up to date. The library is big, and most of the newer journals (10 yrs or less) are available online. There are computers everywhere on campus, so finding an open one is never a problem (except for in the library during the day). They just built a brand new high tech student rec center. It's really amazing...seriously. Multiple weight rooms, multiple pools, tons of treadmills/bikes/eliptical machines with person TV/DVD players attached (if you're into that kind of thing).
    The town is nice. 125,000 give or take. We've got pretty much everything you could find in a large city, just not a lot of choices. We have a decent mall, lots of ethnic restraunts (there is an excellent Thai restraunt downtown). There are art galleries and classical music groups (although it is not nearly as great as you would find in St. Louis/KC obviously...but a lot of people go to those cities for the weekend since they are only 2 hours away). The bar scene is pretty good, as would be expected for a college town. Plus they just spent $75 million dollars on a new basketball arena for our very mediocre team...at least now big name acts come through and perform (Kanye, Cher, and everything in between).
    Another bonus...really low cost of living. If you know where to look, you can get apartments/houses for really cheap. I live in a 2 br/1 ba duplex with a small yard, and pay $455 a month in rent. :thumbup:

    Wow...my post was really long. If you need any more info, let me know. I've enjoyed my time here.
     
  22. DropkickMurphy

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    I used to live in Columbia, MO. I was very impressed, but my fiancee was not that happy with it.
     
  23. kimmcauliffe

    kimmcauliffe Surfer Chum
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    Portland State University. I'm transferring next fall, and love the looks of it. Diverse student population, affordable housing, plenty of coffee spots, concert venues, travel-friendly, beautiful. Perhaps the most important thing to me is the location- just a little bit of a drive to 10+ foot waves! :cool:
     
  24. SuzieQ3417

    SuzieQ3417 Senior Member
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    Yes, that would definitely be a problem then. Was it too small for her? It doesn't bother me, but I know some people just can't handle smaller cities.
     
  25. somewhere2010

    somewhere2010 SDN Donor
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    yale is fabulash! (my new favorite word) there's a really eclectic mix of people, and i found the atmosphere to be very collegial, even among pre-meds! also i think it's more artsy, laid-back, and liberal than people may think from the outside...

    there are endless resources from which to learn, but i honestly think i learned the most from my fellow classmates, getting perspectives from people with completely different backgrounds than me and debating random stuff at 3am...it really expands your mind :)

    academically, it's great, in just about any field...though, being a liberal arts school, you can't major in anything really practical like business, which i did want to learn about! overall, yale is a great place if you're very self-motivated and an independent thinker...with the very loosely structured curriculum (no real gen ed requirements), you have to be able to steer your own course to make it a worthwhile place to be.

    p.s. new haven is NOT a dump! ehehe
     
  26. DropkickMurphy

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    Actually she had a bad experience with the volunteer fire department (Boone County) while I was out there. Some of the firefighters were extremely unprofessional and it ruined her opinion of the town.
     
  27. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Praetorian are these some of your criteria?

    -Cheap
    -Family friendly city
    -Large EMS (for job?)
    -Ability for medical research
     
  28. DropkickMurphy

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    Yup, except that I will be working at a funeral home (better money, better hours, etc than EMS). A volunteer fire department nearby would be nice but not necessary since I prefer to do EMS as a volunteer.
     
  29. Hey, cool link Hermit MMood! Thanks. For some reason my school's undergrads rate themselves as "not too bright".. Uh oh! ;)
     
  30. shibby1983

    shibby1983 Member
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    I definitely have to say Kenyon college is the best school in Ohio. I challenge anyone who says otherwise. It doesn't exactly have what you're looking for but without a doubt an amazing place nonetheless.

     
  31. boilerbeast

    boilerbeast suPURDUEper
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    I would probably give my left arm to go back to Purdue! Great school, probably the best decision of my life.
     
  32. sscooterguy

    sscooterguy Senior Member
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    I went to U of Michigan. Excellent school, however, its huge, and may be expensive for out of staters. You may be able to get residency if you/your wife works fulltime and pays taxes, but I'm not familiar with residency laws. All I know about that is it is dang near impossible to get in state residency status if you are only a student.

    I suggest UofM for a few major reasons. The classes are taught at a very high level. It is indeed difficult to do well, as many of the large classes (aka premed prerequisits) are graded on a curve. However, from my experience, the some professors were excellent, especially in Orgo, Biochem, Genetics. (If you want a list of THE best professors, I'll be able to give you their names, and you can see what semester they teach their courses.) When I went there a few years ago, I asked around for the best teachers, and I took their courses. The classes were difficult, but I ended up doing well. The professors in my classes were very nice, and I met with my orgo professor weekly. These professors also wrote me excellent letters too. Also, UMich doesn't have a premed committee, which I liked. They had a professional letter service, which was excellent in my opinion.

    Another major reason to go to michigan is that princeton review Ann Arbor has the highest mcat scores of all princeton review's in the nation (at least when I was there a few years back). Yes I'm sure there is reporting bias, etc, but it still has the highest MCAT scores for TPR. I knew of 2 students that didn't go to UofM, but commuted to Ann Arbor for TPR class. The reason for doing that is because TPR classes are taught at the middle level of the class. Classes in Ann Arbor were filled with very smart students, so classes were generally harder than other locations. This will help push you and allow you to get a better guage of your progress. I suggest this for any location, find out where the smart people go, and take the class there (kaplan, tpr, etc).

    Good luck. Go Blue.
    sscooterguy
     
  33. lropp

    lropp Senior Member
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    Rutgers University... I absolutely love it here. Top notch school in every way.
     
  34. FictionalGirl

    FictionalGirl Senior Member
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    Arizona State University - awesome biochem professors, horrible overall school. Would recommend it only to people who like beaureacrats and migraines.



    QUOTE=Praetorian]As some of you may be aware, I am a mortuary science major and will be done with that degree in a year and a half. Well, I will then be transferring to a four year school to finish up my premed studies and I am in hopes that perhaps some of you might be able to provide me an honest assessment (unbiased premed's assessment) of your undergraduate schools.

    Because of my fiancee's desire to stay close to her family, I am interested in those of you who are doing undergrad work in the Midwest- specifically Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I am most interested in small and medium sized public universities, but I am willing to consider larger schools.

    So that being said, I want to know your opinions of your professors, the administration, the facilities, the area (is there stuff to do?), etc. Let's hear it- your honest opinion of your school.[/QUOTE]
     
  35. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Good school. Too bad it's in Madison. :laugh: I was accepted to their med school and MCW, and I'd rather go to MCW, just because I'd rather not live in Madison.
     
  36. MollyMalone

    MollyMalone I'm a Score Quadruplet
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    Just out of purest curiosity, what do you have against Madison? I've lived in both Madison and Milwaukee and would pick Madison hands down any day of the week (hence, I withdrew from MCW after being accepted at UWisc).
     
  37. DropkickMurphy

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    I agree....I'd rather not live in Milwaukee.

    As for Purdue, uh, no thanks. I am just not that impressed with the school (although they do turn out good veterinarians). Michigan is out of the question because I don't want to pay that much to be one of a battalion in each class, and the same goes for Rutgers (not to mention it's in Joisey).

    How expensive is UW-Madison?
     
  38. MollyMalone

    MollyMalone I'm a Score Quadruplet
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    UW-Madison Tuition & Residency Info

    There you go!
     
  39. DropkickMurphy

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    Thank you. Hmmm, very interesting....any good funeral homes in Madison? :laugh:
     
  40. Shredder

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    UT Austin

    too big, too many sports, many substellar faculty and students. lots of fun though and attractive people. oh and austins too blue and weird. but its a nice city, the best in texas. overall recommendation: go somewhere better
     
  41. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    University of Florida --- greatest five years of my life.
     
  42. DropkickMurphy

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    Actually I would have more of a problem with a city being "too red".
     
  43. Shredder

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    ha in that case austins a great place, cost of living in texas is very cheap too. well...cost of living in red states is cheaper than blue, so youll have to hunt for liberal bastions in red states, like austin.
     
  44. DropkickMurphy

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    I'm probably asking for far too much but I'd like to find a city that is a lovely shade of purple...since I'm a moderate almost smack in between liberal and conservative.
     
  45. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    87 square miles surrounded by reality......

    Living costs are awfully high for such a small place (the whole isthmus thing doesn't help), and although it's not Berkeley, it's too liberal for my tastes. The med school was really nice, but I didn't like the hospital (or the 16 weeks of away rotations).
     
  46. DropkickMurphy

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    OK, Thanks everyone....it looks like the "short list" for schools I am considering (based on posts here, a couple of PM's I have received, and looking into employment opportunities) is the following. If any of you have any comments on these schools or the surrounding areas, please let me know. Thanks a million guys. You all have my gratitude.

    *-University of Cincinnati
    *-Central Michigan University
    *-Wright State University
    *-Kent State University
    *-University of Iowa
    *-Western Michigan University
    *-Grand Valley State University
    -University of Toledo
    -University of Louisville


    * Indicates a school I am strongly considering.....
     
  47. SirTony76

    SirTony76 Senior Member
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    Although it is private, you might want to look into Marquette. Everybody who gets in, gets a minimum of $5,000/year. Also, they have summer research programs that are fairly easy to get into.

    Most professors are nice people--they are there because they want to teach, not just simply do research. The teachers usually aren't fired simply if they don't keep up a steady stream of grants coming in, they have to be poor teachers as well.

    They have a biomedical sciences major too, and from what I understand this is not a super-common major.

    Also, the campus is a very study friendly environment, 24 hour library, 24 hour math hall, and 24 hour engineering center.

    If you don't really want a large school, definitely stay away from UW-Madison, UI-IC, U Iowa, U Michigan and Purdon't.
     
  48. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Membership Revoked
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    Thanks for the suggestion, but I would prefer not to go to Milwaukee.

    As for a large school, I can deal with a large school if given the right circumstances. So far I think Iowa is the largest school I have come across that meets most of my requirements.
     
  49. SirTony76

    SirTony76 Senior Member
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    My sister just graduated from U Iowa a few days ago. They have a good biomedical engineering program...might want to look into that :)
     
  50. DropkickMurphy

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    Engineering *shudders* I don't think I would do well at that....How did she like the school in general?
     
  51. SirTony76

    SirTony76 Senior Member
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    I'm pretty sure she loved it. She wanted a big school from the beginning though. She worked two research positions (so there is definitely opportunties there).

    Iowa also has a good football team...

    Her only complaint was that there wasn't much to do other than drink because she doesn't like going to the bars.
     

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